Ravens Training Camp Battle: Linebacker is Most Watched Among Fans

Ravens Training Camp Battle: Linebacker is Most Watched Among Fans
By Bill Ordine
Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

Yes, the Baltimore Ravens will go as far as quarterback Lamar Jackson, particularly with his legs, can take them. That’s a given for Maryland sports betting this upcoming season.

However, as a team that has been making its offensive living on the ground during the Lamar Era, the Ravens also need a defense that can keep the opposition under control so that its offense can grind out yards and dominate time-of-possession. 

Beset by injuries, especially in the defensive backfield, the Ravens slipped in the AFC North in 2021, finishing 8-9 and at the bottom of the division tied with Cleveland,. The surprising Cincinnati Bengals won the division and went to the Super Bowl,where they narrowly lost to the L.A. Rams.

With training camps about to open, BetMaryland.com used Google Trends to gauge the top three most searched Ravens position groups over the past 30 days and linebacker was the top choice, ahead of wide receivers and running backs. Positions with obvious starters (like quarterback) were eliminated. 

After determining the top position group, BetMaryland.com used Google Trends to find how much each player in that position group was being searched over the past week.

These position battles are of keen interest to Ravens fans as wagering action gets ready to heat up during the Maryland NFL betting season with online sports betting in the works.

Remember that there are no real money online casinos currently in Maryland.

Ravens Rookie Drawing the Most Attention

Results showed that rookie David Ojabo, second-year player Odafe Oweh and veteran Justin Houston were the Baltimore linebackers drawing the most search attention.

Ojabo, who was born in Nigeria and then moved to Scotland with his family, will hold special interest, but Baltimore fans also realize that the former Michigan Wolverine won’t be making an immediate impact.  

In March, at his Pro Day workout, the 6-foot-4-inch, 255-pound outside linebacker tore an Achilles tendon.

Despite the injury, the Ravens drafted him in the second round. Ojabo had surgery right after the injury and he hopes to play this season, but the Ravens have said they will be patient with him. 

Ravens fans, despite the flourish of internet attention they’re giving Ojabo, will likewise have to be patient as he comes back from the injury. That wait-and-see approach will make Ojabo an unlikely play on future Maryland betting apps for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Interest of Each Linebacker in Maryland

Here’s a further breakdown of the linebacker battle and where the Ravens stand with Maryland sportsbooks. 

🏈 David Ojabo 38%
🏈 Odafe Oweh27%
🏈 Justin Houston23%
🏈 Tyus Bowser7%

Strong Rookie Season for Oweh

The case of Oweh is quite different. Also an outside linebacker, he’s in his second season as a Raven. In 2021, as a first-round pick (31st overall) from Penn State, Oweh started just two games but he had five sacks, 15 quarterback hits, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

A made-to-order strongside linebacker, Oweh is 6-foot-5, 251 pounds. In the early going, he needs to take it easy on a shoulder that nagged him last season and required offseason surgery, but his rookie season was an indication that he will be an impact pass rusher if he stays healthy.

Importantly, Oweh applies the type of pressure that creates turnovers.

Houston Returns to Ravens

Oweh’s depth chart backup is Justin Houston, a familiar NFL presence who spent 2021 in Baltimore after a distinguished career in Kansas City over eight seasons and two more seasons in Indianapolis. 

No one expects Houston to replicate anything near his 22 sacks that he had in 2014 for the Chiefs, but his 2021 campaign, in which he started 15 games and recorded 4.5 sacks, is indicative of the stability and leadership that a 12-year pro brings to a defensive unit.

Houston is just the kind of player who can come in on a key third-down and make a big play in a must-win game, much like new Buffalo Bills DE Von Miller has done throughout his spectacular career.

Sportsbooks Expect Ravens To Rebound

BetMGM Sportsbook Maryland has the Ravens rebounding from their disappointing 2021 with the shortest odds in the AFC North to win the division at +150, followed closely by Cincinnati at +185. 

The Cleveland Browns,  given the uncertainty surrounding quarterback Deshaun Watson,  are +300. And the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the unfamiliar role of the division longshot at +900.  

The odds on Baltimore to win its third Super Bowl are +2000 at BetMGM. To capture the AFC Championship, the Ravens are +1100.

Super Bowl Odds

🏈 Buffalo+600
🏈 Tampa Bay+750
🏈 Kansas City+900
🏈 L.A. Rams+1100
🏈 Green Bay+1200
🏈 San Francisco+1400
🏈 Dallas+1600
🏈 Denver+1600
🏈 L.A. Chargers+1600
🏈 Baltimore+2000
🏈 Cincinnati+2000
Odds provided by BetMGM Sportsbook Maryland.

 

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A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.

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